Akachukwu Anumudu of Apostolic Faith Secondary School, Anthony, Lagos, has emerged winner of the first edition of the InterswitchSPAK National Science Competition held in Lagos.
The 16-year-old on February 9, 2019, beat eight other contestants in an intense quiz session to win the grand prize of ₦7.5 million worth of tertiary education scholarship spread over five years, a laptop and a monthly stipend during the course of the scholarship.
The first runner-up was 16-year-old Henry Umunna of the Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja. Umunna won ₦4 million worth of scholarship spread over three years; while the second runner-up, 16-year-old Onyedikachi Kanu from Dority International School, Aba, got ₦1 million worth of scholarship for one year.
Expressing his gratitude, Akachukwu Anumudu said he never expected to make it this far, explaining that competitions like this would help in discovering brighter young stars in Nigeria.
According to Akachukwu Anumudu:
“Whenever I see people win at competitions, I always wondered if I could ever get that lucky. But now, I know it’s beyond luck and I am glad that all my sleepless nights and hard work paid off.
I am very grateful to Interswitch because they made me who I am today. Before now, I was very shy and reserved, but my whole experience at the InterswitchSPAK 1.0 has helped build my confidence and prepared me for the future.”
Another highlight of the event ceremony was the presentation of the Founder’s Award to Team Neptune – winners of the Innovation Challenge. The team made up of nine SS2 kids, collaborated to develop a technology-driven solution aimed at providing Nigerians with easier access to National Health Insurance. Each student was presented with a medal and a laptop. The nine students also get a chance to partake in a two-week internship programme at Interswitch Group’s head office in Lagos during the holidays.
Mitchell Elegbe, Group Managing Director/Founder, Interswitch Group, said that his company is particularly passionate about the healthcare sector and is already working on the proposal that emerged from the Innovation Challenge. He added that the winning team will get to join the Interswitch team to further develop the proposed solution.
Besides the three major prize winners, the other six contestants were awarded ₦500,000 each, as consolation prizes for earning a spot in the ‘Top 9’.